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Court grants minister Kabafunzaki bail

By Sania Babirye

Anti corruption court chief magistrate Agnes Alum has granted a five million cash bail to state Minister for Labour , Employment and Industrial relations Herbert Kabanfunzaki.

The  state minister has also been ordered to deposit his passport and two land titles that he owns with his wife  in court until the case is dispossed.

The chief magistrate ruled that the minister had no criminal charges pending  against him and that his surities were substantial.

The state had asked court to deny Hon.Kabafunzaki bail on grounds that he is likely to abscond once released and due to his status as an MP and state minister he might use it to interfere with witnesses.

However the magistrate dismissed  their application saying court can not deny him bail on mere speculation.

On Tuesday, the minister pleaded not guilty to corruption and bribery charges slapped against him by state.
Through his lawyer Kenneth Muhangi Hon.Kabafuzaki sought bail on grounds of bail being his constitutional right to apply for bail, has a fixed place of aboard in Kanyanya cell and that he will not interfere with state witnesses.
The state minister also informed court that he was  the soul bread winner of his family including his four children who are all below the age of 18, he is a law abiding citizen who will not abscond once released and has substantial sureties.
The minister presented five sureties including his wife Doreen KABAFUNZAKI, his brother Charles Mutabazi and his friend Dr.Eryabu Byamukama a lecturer at Kampala international university.

Kabafunzaki was charged on Tuesday  with his political aid  Brain Mugabo who pleaded guilty to have hid the 5 million the minister received from Mohammed Hamid and an interior designer Bruce Lubowa who also pleaded not guilty to the charges of  conspiring  to solicit a 15 million shillings Bribe.

Prosecution states  that between the 6th and the 8th April 20217 at Serena Hotel in Kampala district,  Kabafunzaki directly solicited and accepted  a 5 million shillings Bribe from an Indian Investor Muhammed Muhammed Hamid,  the chairman Aya group of companies as an inducument to clear him of sexual harrasment allegations levied against him by his former employee.

Mugabo was separately charged with being an accessory after being convicted on his own plea for a linear punishment.

The minister was arrested on Saturday last week at Serena Hotel where he allegedly corned by State house operatives receiving the said bribe.

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